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Ask Clare Your Own Question

Clare
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 33325
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I have been contacted by Children Social Services for my two

Customer Question

I have been contacted by Children Social Services for my two children aged 10 and 15 years old because my wife is mental ill. They asked me to come home for Initial Assessment and I replied no. They contacted schools using Section 47 Investigation and found a good report. They wrote to me stating that they still need to meet me and my wife and meet at my home. My children are scared and told me they will not answer any question. What are the consequences? How far my wife and I can cooperate? what are the stages to go through until they reach the final decision the take away the children? If we refuse to meet again can they apply Emergency Protection Order?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
Thank you for your question.
I will do my best to assist you but I need some further information first.
May I ask why you are not willing to co-operate with Social Services?
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The reason are the followings:


 


1. The referral was given by my wife's mental health care nurse, who they did not get on well and some information were inaccurate and exaggerated.


 


2. We do not want the children to be informed about the mother's illness.


 


3. We live in 2 bedroom flat which we have converted into 3 bedrooms without lounge. We did this to allow each child to have own room.


 


4. We have heard from friends, family and media that social services forge allegations and take children away (about 10,000 children so far). Information I give them work against me.


 


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am afraid that your attitude is in fact likely to make matters worse rather than better - and put you at risk of the very outcome you fear.
Dealing with your points in turn
1. Whether or not some of the points were inaccurate the Mental Health Nurse had no choice by to make the referral
2. You can certainly explain this to Social Services - although given the age of your elder child you may need to explain why.
3. This is odd but not necessarily a problem
4. Social Services have no need to create false allegations and they actively work to keep families together rather than part them
This does not mean that they do not make mistakes - they do, nor does it mean that they do not make assumptions that they should not - they do.
HOWEVER if you co-operate with them and work with them they will assist you.
If you refuse to speak to them then they will assume that there is something seriously wrong within your home and that the children are at risk.
This will make emergency action in order that they can assess the position more rather than less likely - with the principal reason for an emergency care order being the fact that you would not speak to them.
I can understand that you are worried - but full care proceedings take many months and children are not lifted into care unless it is clear that they are at risk
I know that this is not what you wish to hear - but it is realistic,
If you want support in dealing with this contact
The Family Rights Group (www.frg.org.uk)
If you need further assistance please ask
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Claire


 


I did check the website and there are useful information, but I would like to know:


-The stages of the process to final decision of taking away children.


 


-In my culture, the children do not talk to the stranger and we do not share adult information with children, like mother,s illness. We do this to protect the children. What will happen if my children refuse to talk to social services?


-In which conditions of my case Emergency Care can be taken?

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
You can read about the process in detail here
http://www.brendanfleming.co.uk/services/childrens-proceedings/overview
In your case Social Services simply wish to ensure that your wife's mental health issues are not impacting on the children in a negative way
They will not necessarily speak to the children directly about the illness - simply about how things are at home and how they are doing.
I am sure that in all cultures in the modern age you teach your children that there are some people who are safe to talk to - teachers the police doctors nurses and social workers - so there should be no question of the children refusing to speak to anyone.
The only basis on which an emergency care order MIGHT be considered in your case would be on the basis that your complete refusal to allow access to the children raises the risk that the children are being harmed and you do not wish this to be discovered.
Claire
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

 


Hello Claire


 


I and my wife meet the social worker after s47 was initiated. she said she asked the schools and they gave her good reports. The problem was she is not open on who give the referral and when. she has so many contradictory stories. Still want to do initial assessment which we agreed. What can we do when we do not trust her for the first time we meet her due to her contradictory information? Do we have the right to receive the report of the meeting in writing? Do we have the right to see the referral in writing? who give the referral and when it was given?


 


My wife has miscarriage and children social worker considered that as unborn baby. Can our children be removed just because my wife had miscarriage, what does it to do with the care, safety of our children? the miscarriage took place before 13 weeks?


 


We are worried because we complained to the carer manager of my wife that she breached confidentiality and she is the one who is giving wrong information which is reading the children social worker to think that our children may be at risk. My wife care manager informed the children services that the miscarriage took place because my wife did not engage with medical team ( which is not true). She gives information in the way she want( exaggeration, magnified). what can we do?


 

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hello Claire


 


 


 


I and my wife meet the social worker after s47 was initiated. she said she asked the schools and they gave her good reports. The problem was she is not open on who give the referral and when. she has so many contradictory stories. Still want to do initial assessment which we agreed. What can we do when we do not trust her for the first time we meet her due to her contradictory information? Do we have the right to receive the report of the meeting in writing? Do we have the right to see the referral in writing? who give the referral and when it was given?


 


 


 


My wife has miscarriage and children social worker considered that as unborn baby. Can our children be removed just because my wife had miscarriage, what does it to do with the care, safety of our children? the miscarriage took place before 13 weeks?


 


 


 


We are worried because we complained to the carer manager of my wife that she breached confidentiality and she is the one who is giving wrong information which is reading the children social worker to think that our children may be at risk. My wife care manager informed the children services that the miscarriage took place because my wife did not engage with medical team ( which is not true). She gives information in the way she want( exaggeration, magnified). what can we do?


 

Expert:  Clare replied 3 years ago.
Hi
I am sorry but the simple fact is that you are not entitled to see the referral - but a Social Worker who is trying to establish a working relationship with you will try not to say this as it is not exactly a "friendly" statement.
Nobody will take your children into care because of a miscarriage - but if there is evidence that you and your wife to not engage with medical professionals in ways which could effect the children then this will be a cause for concern and something that they may wish to discuss and work through with you
Your wife's mental health nurse is only one of the people who will be spoken to - and the information received from that source will be balanced by information from you and other sources - PROVIDED you co-operate
Claire

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